Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams has claimed that he once turned down the opportunity to join Liverpool on a permanent deal.
Williams has been an established first-team starter for Athletic Bilbao since his debut in 2014. The 28-year-old has been an ever-present figure for the club, helping them lift the 2020-21 Supercopa de Espana trophy. He has six years left on his current deal at the San Mames.
A versatile forward renowned for his pace and power, Williams has registered 77 goals and 49 assists in 346 matches across all competitions for Los Leones. He also holds the record for most consecutive La Liga appearances with a whopping 239 back-to-back outings.
Speaking to AS (via Express), Williams confirmed that Liverpool were after his signature in the past. He elaborated:
“I had an option to leave. There were contacts in which I kept my position clear. It’s nice that clubs like this try to get you, but I was always clear that I want to be at Athletic.”
According to the Express report, Liverpool had identified Williams as an ideal replacement for Senegalese forward Sadio Mane back in 2019. The Merseyside outfit were also prepared to activate Williams’ £77 million release clause. However, no transfer materialised for the player.
When asked whether he is interested in plying his trade in the Premier League in the future, the Ghana international added:
“A lot, because of how they live football and interpret it. It’s very attractive.”
Williams has opened the ongoing 2022-23 season on a positive note, scoring twice in six La Liga matches so far. Along with his younger brother Nico, he has helped Athletic Bilbao sit in fourth-place in La Liga.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are currently eighth in the 2022-23 Premier League standings with nine points from six matches. The club will face Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday (October 1).
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